Bus Stop-Arm Camera FAQs
San Antonio ISD has contracted with American Traffic Solutions (ATS) now rebranded as Verra Mobility, to install its Stop Arm Safety Camera System on all 200 SAISD route buses at no cost to the District. The system automatically takes photos of drivers who pass a stopped school bus with a displayed stop sign and flashing lights. The goal is to help increase driver awareness of school buses and the safety of school children as they board or disembark.
Violators will be assessed a $300 citation under a local ordinance passed by the San Antonio City Council in 2016. For questions, please contact:
American Traffic Solutions (ATS)
Rebranded as Verra Mobility
SAISD Police Department
Chief Joe Curiel
Why has SAISD implemented a school bus safety camera program?
Today, parents have enough reasons to worry about their children’s safety—sending them to school should not be one of them. It is illegal and also dangerous for a vehicle to pass a stopped school bus. The goal of the program is to improve safety for students who ride school buses. We are committed to reducing violations, collisions and injuries to keep our community safe.
What is a school bus violation?
A school bus violation occurs when a motorist passes a school bus after the school bus has come to a complete stop with its stop-arm extended and lights flashing. See examples of violations here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaHXbWyeiq0
What do I do if I receive a notice?
How much is the fine?
Violators will be assessed a $300 penalty. This is a civil penalty that does not affect a driving record nor is it reported to insurance companies.
When and where do I stop for a school bus?
When a school bus stops and alternating red flashing lights are active, drivers must stop. You should stop at least 20 feet from the front and 20 feet from the rear of the school vehicle.
What is the flashing light system? Amber Flashing Lights: Located on the top of the school vehicle. Their purpose is to warn other motorists of the school vehicle preparing to stop. Red Flashing Lights: Also located on the top of the school vehicle. The red flashing lights inform other vehicles to stop.
Why is this type of enforcement needed?
Violations are automatically detected, allowing the bus driver to focus on driving. Full-time monitoring of all SAISD school buses by local law enforcement is impossible. The photo-enforcement system enforces the law at every stop, for every child. The system allows for continuous law enforcement while police officials focus on other high-priority needs. When a school bus stops and alternating red flashing lights are active, drivers must stop.
How does the school bus stop-arm camera work?
Step 1: Cameras are installed at a key location on the exterior of each school bus.
Step 2: When a school bus extends its stop-arm, the system can automatically detect if a vehicle passes the stopped school bus within the enforced zone.
Step 3: If a vehicle passes the school bus, the cameras capture images and video of the violating vehicle.
Step 4: The images show not only the violating vehicle as it passes the school bus, but also the vehicle’s license plate and the extended stop-arm on the school bus. They system also records a video of the violating vehicle as further evidence of the violation.
Step 5: Violation data and images are then wirelessly uploaded for validation, process and notice issuance.
Step 6: A final review of the image and video is conducted by SAISD law enforcement personnel, who then will approve or reject the violation.
How are bus routes selected?
SAISD officials worked with local law enforcement to determine the frequency of illegal stop-arm passing. In many cases, our parents and local community’s complaints about dangerous driving near school buses was taken into account when selecting routes for enforcement.
What is the Law?
Two-lane roadway: When a school bus stops for passengers, ALL traffic from all directions must stop and remain stopped until the signal is retracted and red lights are turned off.
Four-lane to six-lane roadway without a median separation: When school bus stops for passengers, ALL traffic from both directions must stop.
Divided highway of four lanes or more with a median separation: When school bus stops for passengers, only traffic following the school bus must stop.
A roadway with two-lanes, four-lanes or more with a center turning lane: When school bus stop for passengers, ALL traffic from both directions must stop.
For more information, visit www.crossing-guard.com.